October 30, 2005

Genealogy and Family History Research

DistantCousin.com

According to the Welcome message at this website, "DistantCousin is an online archive of genealogy records and scanned images of historical documents from a wide variety of sources, such as newspaper obituaries, city directories, census records, ship records, ship lists, school yearbooks, military records and more. In all there are 6 million genealogy records from over 1,500 sources online. There are no fees or memberships required to use the records at DistantCousin."

When I visited the site for the first time I found several "Featured Genealogy Databases," including the San Francisco, CA 1922 City Directory, El Paso, TX 1927 City Directory, among others.

It appears that some links go to Ancestry.com ($), and Genealogy.com ($).

Under "United States Genealogy" I clicked on California and found scanned images of a city directory for Menlo Park, CA dated 1926.

Using that link I found clickable page numbers and surnames. Users will have to use the "Find" function in their browser to locate a particular name; the names are "not necessarily in alphabetical order."

On the same page with the link to the city directory, are links to a number of CA university yearbooks. Those - or at least the one or two that I checked - are not scanned, but are extracted lists.

Perhaps the most useful area that I found on this website are the scanned images of city directories. I searched the 1924 Nashville, TN directory and found a couple of Coffee names, and several Coffeys. These are a few:

COFFEE Joe M. (Hallie) mach h2605 Branch av
COFFEE Smith* lab Ward Belmont Sch h1007b 10th av S
COFFEY Benj B pres Reliance Mfg Co h321 21st av N
COFFEY Ella* h620 Webster
COFFEY Emma Mrs R25 Carroll

All in all, this site looks very interesting, and one that needs more exploring. Click on the title link to visit them.

October 29, 2005

James Norman Coffey (1853-1934)

James Norman Coffey was born Sep. 30, 1853 in Morgan Co., IN, and died in Vallejo, Solano Co., CA in 1934. He and his family can be found in the 1880 Washington Co., IA census, and the 1900 Clatsop Co., OR census. He has not been found in the 1930 census, and he is not listed in the CA death index. In 1910 he was enumerated in the Clatsop Co., OR census as a widower. In 1920 he was living in the household with his son Emond in Multnomah Co., OR.

He married Laura Ellen Hays on Sep. 27, 1877 in Lime Creek, Washington Co., IA. Laura was born Jun. 22, 1862 in Texas. According to some researchers, they had seven children: Benjamin Franklin, Hannah (Lida), Louisa H., Ernest Garfield; Lemuel Louis (Lem), Henry Harrison, and Emond Willard. Laura died Sep. 19, 2002 in Svenson, Clatsop Co., OR.

In 1900 Laura told the census taker that she was the mother of five children, and that five were living. The five children listed in 1900 were Hannah, Ernest, Lemuel, Henry and Emond. It is therefore questionable whether Benjamin and Louisa are her children.

James was the son of James Wilson and Louisa T. Norman Coffey.

Photo courtesy Dorothy Louise Crawford, Union City, CA, a descendant of Lewis Moses Coffey

October 27, 2005

Thomas Waterman and Cynthia York Gates

Thomas Waterman & Cynthia York Gates*
Thomas Waterman Gates was born 1821 in New York. He married Cynthia York, born 1831 in Pennsylvania, in Joseph City, OR in 1847.

They were the parents of Lafayette Gates, born c1856, and Sarah Adeline (Sofie) Gates, wife of John Taylor Coffey.

Update Dec. 13, 2011:  I was recently contacted by a Gates researcher who is searching for the death and burial information for Thomas and Cynthia as well as their son Lafayette.

I had been primarily interested in their daughter Sofie but, that request for help led me to do a bit more digging.

In addition to the above two children, Thomas and Cynthia had five other children, all born in OR.  They were William, born c1852; Laura, born c1854; Don Carlos, born c1858; Emma May, born c1863 and Mary, born c1868.

The family was first in the Oregon Territory census of 1850 in Clackamas Co.  In 1860 and 1870 they were in Multnomah Co., OR and disappeared after that.

Readers who may be researching this family and who know where the Gates are buried are invited to contact me.


*Photo courtesy Dorothy Louise Crawford, dec'd., Union City, CA, a descendant of Lewis Moses Coffey

John Taylor Coffey (1847-1926)

John Taylor Coffey
John Taylor Coffey
John Taylor Coffey was a son of James Wilson Coffey and Louisa T. Norman. He was born May 23, 1847 in Morgan Co., IN, and died Jun. 6, 1926 in Svenson, Clatsup Co., OR. He married Sarah Adeline (Sofie) Gates on Jun. 12, 1880 in Wahkiakum Co., WA. 

His obituary:
Death claimed John Taylor Coffey here yesterday. He was 79 years old and a native of Indiana. For the past 43 years he has been a resident of Svensen. Mr. Coffey is survived by seven children, four sons, F. W. of North Bend, S. N. of Kalama, A. B. of Svensen and T.T. of Grants Pass, and three daughters, Mrs. Evelyn Knutsen, Mrs. Frankie Larsen and Mrs. Ida Larsen, all of Svensen, also five brothers, L.M. Coffey of Svensen, B.F. of Hammond, J.N. of Vallejo, Cal. V.H. of Warrenton and Lane of Iowa. Funeral services will be under the direction of John Gilbaugh and will be held at Svensen Thursday afternoon at 2 O'clock, with Rev. Ferguson officiating.  Interment will be at the Svensen Cemetery. The G.A.R. of which Mr. Coffey was a member, will take part in the funeral services.

Sofie was the daughter of Thomas Waterman Gates and Cynthia York. She was born Jul. 31, 1860 in Milwaukie, Multnomah Co., OR*, and died Nov. 28, 1929 in Svenson.

Together they were the parents of 10 children: La Rina; Florian W.; Sherman Nathan; Eveline Louisa; Franklin Louetta; Emma May; Ida L.; Augustus Benjamin; Tillman Taylor; and Lemuel D.

John Taylor Coffey was brother to Lemuel Lewis Moses Coffey.

Sarah Adeline Gates
Sarah Adeline (Sofie) Gates




Sarah Adeline (Sofie) Gates
(1860-1929)



Photos and obituary are courtesy of Dorothy Louise Crawford, Union City, CA, a descendant of Lewis Moses Coffey

*The larger portion of Milwaukie is in Clackamas Co., while a small portion extends into Multnomah Co.

October 26, 2005

Lemuel Lewis Moses Coffey (1844-1936)

Lemuel Lewis Moses Coffey Lemuel Lewis Moses Coffey was born Mar. 6, 1844 in Morgan Co., IN, and died May 23, 1936 in Clatsop Co., OR. He was the son of James Wilson and Louisa T. Norman Coffey, and grandson of Lewis Moses and Delilah Turpin Coffey.

Photo courtesy of Dorothy Louise Crawford, Union City, CA, a descendant of Lewis Moses Coffey

October 21, 2005

Recapping Jordan Coffey Family

Family Group Sheet
=================================================
Husband: Jordan COFFEY
-------------------------------------------------
Birth: abt 1780 Virginia
Census: 1830 Amherst Co., VA
Census: 1840 Amherst Co., VA
Death: bef 1860 Virginia
Burial:
Marriage: Mar 21, 1803 Amherst Co., VA
Census (fam): Sep 17, 1850 Amherst Co., VA
Father:
Mother:
=================================================
Wife: Elizabeth (Betsey) RIPPETOE
-------------------------------------------------
Birth: abt 1778 Virginia
Death: bef 1860 Virginia
Burial:
Father:
Mother:
=================================================
Children
=================================================
1 M Hudson (Huddie) COFFEY
Birth: abt 1805 Virginia
Census: Sep 17, 1850 Amherst Co., VA, enumerated in household with his parent
Death: 1870
Burial:
Spouse: Mrs. Mahala Green LANE (1813- )
Marriage: Sep 20, 1855 Amherst Co., VA
-------------------------------------------------

2 M Schylar COFFEY
Birth: abt 1806 Virginia
Census: 1840 Amherst Co., VA
Census: Aug 16, 1870 Amherst Co., VA, with wife named Mary.
Death: bef Jun 2, 1880 Amherst Co., VA
Burial:
Spouse: Elizabeth (Betsey) HAMILTON (1820- )
Marriage: Jan 30, 1832 Virginia
-------------------------------------------------

3 M John (Jack) COFFEY
Birth: abt 1809 Virginia
Census: 1840 Amherst Co., VA
Census: Jun 1, 1880 Amherst Co., VA
Death: Dec 14, 1888 of cancer; Amherst Co., VA
Burial:
Spouse: Elizabeth Susan (Betsey) DUFF (1807-1880)
Marriage: Jan 18, 1830 Amherst Co., VA
Spouse: Virginia CAMPBELL (1849- )
Marriage: Apr 1, 1873 Amherst Co., VA
-------------------------------------------------
4 M Nelson COFFEY
Birth: abt 1810 Virginia
Census: 1840 Amherst Co., VA
Death: abt 1845 Virginia
Burial:
Spouse: Rebecca HAMILTON (1816- )
Marriage: Feb 5, 1833 Amherst Co., VA
-------------------------------------------------

5 F Jane COFFEY
Birth: abt 1814 Virginia
Death:
Burial:
Spouse: Meredith ALLEN (1795- )
Marriage: Apr 21, 1834 Virginia
-------------------------------------------------
6 M William (Billy) COFFEY
Birth: Apr 9, 1815 Virginia
Census: 1840 Amherst Co., VA
Death: May 11, 1896 Virginia
Burial: May 1896 Coffeytown, Amherst Co., VA
Spouse: Sarah G. (Sally) CRAWFORD (1820- )
Marriage: Sep 24, 1835 Amherst Co., VA
-------------------------------------------------
7 F Elizabeth COFFEY
Birth: abt 1817 Virginia
Death:
Burial:
Spouse: John P. HAMILTON (1812- )
Marriage: May 5, 1835 Amherst Co., VA
-------------------------------------------------
8 F Susannah COFFEY
Birth: abt 1819 Virginia
Death:
Burial:
Spouse: John D. CRAWFORD Jr. (1813- )
Marriage: Sep 9, 1835 Amherst Co., VA
-------------------------------------------------
9 M Henry F. COFFEY
Birth: abt 1822 Virginia
Death: Jun 10, 1871 from Colic; Amherst Co., VA
Burial:
Spouse: Mrs. Elizabeth McDaniel (Betsy) OGDEN (1813-1871)
Marriage: Mar 10, 1848 Amherst Co., VA
=================================================

-------------------------------------------------
FAMILY NOTES
-------------------------------------------------
Marriage (Mar 21, 1803): (1)
Census (fam) (Sep 17, 1850): (2)
General:

From the 1825 will of William Coffey, son of John and Jane Graves Coffey:

"It is my desire & request that my Executors hereafter named shall rent to Jordan Coffey my tract of land whereupon the said Jordan has lived he the said Jordan paying to them for the benefit of my Estate five pounds per annum so long as my Executors shall think it prudent to rent it to him but if my Executors shall think it right to sell the said tract of land the proceeds of the sale is to go to the rest of children hereafter named."

Some researchers believe that Jordan was a grandson of William through his daughter Jane and her relationship with an unknown male. Others think that his father was Benjamin Hawkins Fitzgerald, who eventually married Jane. Jordan often tried to use the Fitzgerald surname in official records, but the surname Coffey was also entered. Logic would indicate that if he were Benjamin's natural son then Benjamin would likely have claimed him.

"Item I give to Edmund F. Coffey and James Montgomery in trust & to their successors for the benefit of my daughter Jane Fitzgerald and the legitimate children of her body one half of my tract of land in Nelson County on Cub Creek containing by estimation two hundred and fifteen acres the said tract of land to be equally divided according to quantity and quality. The other moiety of the said last mentioned tract of land I give to my said trustees herein before mentioned & to their successors for the benefit of my son William Coffey during his natural life, at his death to return to the rest of my children or those which I shall name hereafter, each to hold the part they now live on. "

Other of William's daughters had illegitimate children, but Jane was the only
one mentioned thusly.
(3)

-------------------------------------------------
HUSBAND NOTES: Jordan COFFEY
-------------------------------------------------
Census (1830): (4)
Census (1840): (5)

-------------------------------------------------
CHILD NOTES: Hudson (Huddie) COFFEY
-------------------------------------------------
Census (Sep 17, 1850): (6)
General:

Hudson was born in what is now Nelson Co., VA. He and brother Schylar left Nelson Co. to live in Amherst, but were still in Nelson in 1826, but gone by 1828 when William Coffey (son of John Coffey and Jane Graves, and husband of Elizabeth Osborne) died in Nelson Co.



-------------------------------------------------
CHILD NOTES: Schylar COFFEY
-------------------------------------------------
Birth (abt 1806): (7)
Census (1840): (8)
Census (Aug 16, 1870): (9)
General:

"Schylar and Nelson (and Henry) are the only ones of the original 9 [children of Jordan] for whom no specific listing of parentage has been found." [John Taylor, Cold Mountain Cabbage]



-------------------------------------------------
CHILD NOTES: John (Jack) COFFEY
-------------------------------------------------
Census (1840): (10)
Census (Jun 1, 1880): (11)
Death (Dec 14, 1888):

John Jack Coffey died 14 December 1888 at the age of 80, of cancer. We have no specific place of burial for either him or Betsey from public records, but they may be buried behind Elsie Coffey's present house in an unmarked grave, as some believe. [John Taylor, Cold Mountain Cabbage]



-------------------------------------------------
CHILD NOTES: Nelson COFFEY
-------------------------------------------------
Census (1840): (12)

-------------------------------------------------
CHILD NOTES: William (Billy) COFFEY
-------------------------------------------------
Birth (Apr 9, 1815):

This date from his headstone. Other sources indicates 23 Apr. 1815 as his date of birth. [John Taylor, Cold Mountain Cabbage]


Census (1840): (13)
Death (May 11, 1896):
Billy's headstone shows a death date as 11 May 1896. Death records show a William Coffey, unlisted parents, dying 26 July 1897. Evidently Billy's death came as a result of falling down the stairs at the original house, after he had returned from the new house. If this is true and the new house was not built until 1897, the 26 July date may be accurate. Otherwise, it could have been over a year since his death when it was reported in Amherst Courthouse, and the record shows the reported date, not the actual date; or the listed William is not the right one. However, the listed Billy was 81 years old, which is right for his age. No other William of that age was known to be in Amherst County at the time. [John Taylor - Cold Mountain Cabbage]

Burial (May 1896):
"Sally" and Billy Coffey are buried on the hill behind Elsie Coffey's house in a fenced-in area which includes Bettie Coffey, their unmarried daughter. Bettie evidently died of grief, as she was very attached to her mother. Others in the cemetery include Walter Campbell, perhaps related to John Jack's second wife, or to one of John Jack Jr.'s two daughters, Lena and Emma Jane, who married Campbell men in sufficient time to have had Walter. Robert H. Coffey, great-grandson of Billy Coffey, grandson of Harden Coffey and Hersey Coffey's brother, has the only other marked grave (1903-1907) in this cemetery. John Jack and his wife Betsey Duff are also believed to be buried in this vicinity, although there is no marker. [John Taylor - Cold Mountain Cabbage]


-------------------------------------------------
CHILD NOTES: Henry F. COFFEY
-------------------------------------------------
Birth (abt 1822):

The 1860 census indicates that Henry was born closer to 1819.

(14)
Death (Jun 10, 1871):

Henry Coffey was the youngest of the bunch of Jordan's "kids". When he died, his son, Henry L. Coffey ("Big Hill" Henry) stated that his father's parents were Charles and Jane Coffey of Nelson County. [John Taylor, e-mail, 10-14-2005]


General:
Although Henry Coffey shows for the first time in the 1850 Census as the head of a household, he may have been one of 2 boys his age living with Jordan and Elizabeth in 1840. According to Census reports, Henry was born around 1817. He married, at the age of 31, Elizabeth (McDaniel) (Ogden) Coffey, who was slightly older than Henry, and she had several children of her own from a previous marriage to Zachariah Ogden. Henry seems to have acted as guardian to her older children and they took his surname, at least for the census reports, but, except for Paulin, they are believed to have used their own surnames later. Henry F. Coffey died 10 June 1871 of Colic, in Amherst County, according to the Amherst County death records. The information on the death record, including naming his parents as Charles and Jane Coffey of Nelson County, was given by Henry's son, Henry L. Coffey. His place of burial is unknown, but is probably up on the hill behind Embree Crawford's house, in an unmarked grave, perhaps with Elizabeth. [John Taylor, Cold Mountain Cabbage]


(15)



-------------------------------------------------
SOURCES
-------------------------------------------------
1. Dodd, Jordan R, et. al. Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850. Bountiful, UT: Precision Indexing Publishers, 19xx.
2. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States. 1850 United States Federal Census. M432, 1009 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. 1850 Amherst Co., Eastern Dist., Sheet 86, dwelling/family 205, Jordan Coffee , age 70, male, farmer; Betsey, age 72, female; Hudson, age 45, male, farmer; Margaret Painter, age 17, female.
3. John Taylor,The Coffey Family Settlers of "Coffeytown", Amherst County Virginia (: John Taylor,). "I am now fairly certain that Jane and Benjamin Hawkins Fitzgerald were properly married in Albemarle County, where she was living at the time, and where the marriage records have been lost. We just don't have a copy of an
official record; however, the courts treated them as married, as did her father." (John Taylor, e-mail to Jack Coffee, Feb. 25, 2005).
4. Ancestry.com. 1830 U.S. Federal Census [database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States. 1830 United States Federal Census. M19, 201 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. 1830 Amherst Co., Addison's Div., Sheet 10, Jordan Coffee, 1-122--1-------/111--1.
5. Ancestry.com. 1840 U.S. Federal Census [database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States. 1840 United States Federal Census. M704, 580 rolls. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. 1840 Amherst Co., Jordon Coffey, ----2--1/--------1.
6. Amherst Co., Marriage Records, Researched by Mary Anne Taylor, 1991. Hudson Coffey, age 51, single, farmer, born Amherst Co., parents Jordan and Eliz. Coffey to Mahala Lane, age 42, widow, born Amherst Co., married 9-22-1855.
7. , The Coffey Family Settlers of "Coffeytown", Amherst County Virginia. "The ancestry of Nelson and Schylar is not firmly established. Both of these names relate directly to Nelson County geography. Nelson was born approximately when a portion of Amherst became Nelson County. One district in Nelson County is Schuyler District. On occasions, Schylar's name has been written exactly that way. He and Nelson may be brothers, but only cousins to John Jack and Billy. They may be descendants of some of Edward the twin Coffey's people, or more likely, “excess” children from one or another neighbor. Henry was so much younger it is difficult to believe he came from the same parentage. No records have been found which conclusively prove parentage of Schylar or Nelson, and Henry's is not clear.".
8. 1840 U.S. Federal Census. 1840 Amherst Co., Geo. W. Christian Div., Schuyler Coffey, 2----1/-1--1.
9. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census. [database on-line] Provo, UT: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2003-. Indexed by Ancestry.com from microfilmed schedules of the 1870 U.S. Federal Decennial Census.1870 United States Federal Census. [database online] Provo, UT: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2003. Original data: Data imaged from National Archives and Records Administration. 1870 Federal Population Census. M593, 1,761 rolls; part of Minnesota T132, 13 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. 1870 Amherst Co., Peddler Twp., Cool Well Twp., Page 80,
dwelling 638, family 611, Coffee, Schyler, age 65, male, white, farmer, $__, $125, born VA; Mary, age 56, female, white, keeping house, born VA; Fanny, age 40, female, white, at home, born VA; Jordan, age 26, male, white, farm hand, born VA; John, age 20, male, white, farm hand, born VA.
10. 1840 U.S. Federal Census. 1840 Amherst Co., Geo. W. Christian Div., John Coffey, 22---1/11---1.
11. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. 1880 Amherst Co., Pedlar Dist., ED20, Page 3, dwelling/family 21, Coffey, John, white male, age 71, farmer, born VA, parents born VA.
12. 1840 U.S. Federal Census. 1840 Amherst Co., Geo. W. Christian Div., Nelson Coffey, -1--1/2---1.
13. Ibid., 1840 Amherst Co., Geo. W. Christian Div., William Coffey, 1---1/1---1.
14. Ancestry.com. United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States Federal Census for years indicated.
15. , The Coffey Family Settlers of "Coffeytown", Amherst County Virginia. According to his death record, he was not Jordan's biological son, but he could have been and probably was informally adopted by Jordan prior to his leaving Nelson County.

Jane Coffey (c1814 to 1880)

Continuing with the children of Jordan Coffey by John Taylor


Jane Coffey, daughter of Jordan and Elizabeth, married Meredith Allen. The family stayed in Amherst County beyond 1840, but by 1850 had moved to Tazewell County, where they lived in the western district. At this time, the family consisted of "Mirideth" (54 years old); Jane (36); Addison (14); Elizabeth (12); Malvina (10); Mary (6); Mirideth (4); and Jane (1). By 1860 the family was living in Wayne County, which later became a part of West Virginia. Addison and Elizabeth were not with the family at that time. When the census was taken in 1870, Jane was living in Kanawa County, WV within the township of Charleston. Meredith was evidently dead by this time. Jane shows later in the Mortality Schedule in Ceredo, Wayne County, WV, where she is probably buried.


[This is the last child of Jordan Coffey]

Henry Coffey (c1817 to 10 Jun 1871)

Continuing with the children of Jordan Coffey by John Taylor


Although Henry Coffey shows for the first time in the 1850 Census as the head of a household, he may have been one of 2 boys his age living with Jordan and Elizabeth in 1840. According to Census reports, Henry was born around 1817. He married, at the age of 31, Elizabeth (McDaniel) (Ogden) Coffey, who was older than Henry, and she had several children of her own from a previous marriage to Zachariah Ogden. Henry seems to have acted as guardian to her older children and they took his surname, at least for the census reports, but they are believed to have used their own names later. Henry F. Coffey died 10 June 1871 of Colic, in Amherst County, according to the Amherst County death records. The information on the death record, including naming his parents as Charles and Jane Coffey of Nelson County, was given by Henry's son, Henry L. Coffey. His place of burial is unknown, but is probably up on the hill behind Embree Crawford's house, in an unmarked grave.

Henry shows in the public records for the first time in 1839 when he paid personal property taxes in Amherst County on the same day as John, Schylar, Jordan, Hudson and William Coffey. For this reason and others, he is believed to have been informally adopted by Jordan and Elizabeth, although his biological surname was Coffey also. This likely occurred in Nelson County before the family left in late 1827 or in 1828. At that time, he would have been 10 or 11 years old. By 1839, he was 22 or 23 and needed to pay taxes.

Henry married Elizabeth (McDaniel) (Ogden) Coffey on 10 March 1848 in Amherst County. In 1848 Henry had nothing and paid no personal property taxes. By 1849, he owned one horse, two slaves, one over 16 and another over 12 years of age, and 4 metallic clocks. By 1850, he was down to one horse. On 8 May 1851 he bought 340 acres on both sides of the middle fork of the Pedlar River from his father-in-law William McDaniel. William had bought it in 1811 from Benjamin Sandidge. This deed had a built-in will. That is, Henry paid $1000 for the use of this land during his lifetime. When he died, ownership would revert to William McDaniel or his son Lindsay. Nevertheless, Henry was happy to have his own land to work. This is the first piece of land adjacent to or near Staton's Creek (middle fork) which we have found. The same deal may have been made with Zachariah Ogden, when he married Elizabeth, because Henry seems to have been living on her property in 1850, along with the other Coffeys. Most of the land around present day Coffeytown seems to have been owned by the Richerson family. John Jack Coffey bought some of it in 1859, later expanded with a joint land purchase by him and William in 1873. By that time, Henry was dead.

It seems that the first Coffey settler in the Coffeytown area was the youngest of the Coffey clan, Henry Coffey. Since Henry "owned" land on both sides of the Pedlar, it is likely that Henry continued to live on the south side and that the others set up housekeeping on the north side of the Creek, but judging from the census reports, and reading a little between the lines, the other Coffeys may have initially set up on the far south end of Henry's land.

Henry and Elizabeth had three children of their own, but Paulin apparently never knew his father Zachariah Ogden who died before he was born. Paulin J. Coffey names Henry as his guardian in his will. He died evidently without marrying, at the age of 24. His will named the three children of Henry as benefactors. He is believed to be that P.J. Coffey who enlisted as a Private in Co. E, 13th VA Infantry in Culpepper on 28 October 1863. The record has him as a deserter in December 1863.

Nothing is known of the other elder children of Elizabeth. Henry's children Avarilla, Henry L. and Mary F. all married and had children of their own.

Avarilla (Coffey) Davis listed Henry as her father on her marriage application, although she was apparently born 2 years or so prior to Henry's marriage to Elizabeth. If there was an earlier marriage by Henry, it is not listed in Amherst, Rockbridge, Albemarle, or Nelson counties. Henry may have been working on Zachariah's farm when he died, stayed on to help out, since Elizabeth was pregnant at the time and had at least 6 other children to care for, only one of whom, "Zack", was male, and he was only about 8 years of age at the time. Avarilla married William Webster Davis, who had previously married Sarah Jane Coffey, daughter of John Jack Coffey. By that marriage there were two children. Avarilla gave him 13 more, including Virginia Ann "Jenny" Davis who married Arthur Coffey.

Henry L. Coffey married Lillie Belle (Burch) Coffey on 3 December 1873 in Amherst County. They lived in Coffeytown and had a number of children, including Georgiana, Mattie, John, Emmett, Bernard, Albright, Harry, Eliza, and Ruth Coffey. Henry was called "Big Hill" Henry, leaving little doubt as the topography of his housesite. Henry was probably drafted as a Private into the 13th VA Infantry on 22 April 1862 in Gordonsville, along with others in the family. He is listed as deserted 17 June 1864, but was AWOL much earlier. Most likely he came back to Amherst County. It does not appear that he rejoined in another regiment.

Mary F. Coffey married Joseph Crawford on 5 December 1866 when she was very young. Nothing is known of this couple.

[Next: Jane Coffey (c1814-1880)]

Update March 6, 2012 I am still a bit confused by the family of Henry F. Coffey and wife Elizabeth "Betsey" McDaniel Coffey.  In 1850, two years after their marriage on Mar. 10, 1848 in Amherst Co., the census record lists family members as Margaret Coffee [sic], age 20, Elizabeth Coffee, age 18; Zac Coffee, age 15, Catharine Coffee, age 13, Serana Coffee, age 7, Paulus Coffee, age 5, Avarila Coffee, age 4, Henry Coffee, age 1, Mary F. Coffee, age 6 mos., and Sarah Coffee, age 16.

Zac, Catharine and Sarah appear to be Elizabeth McDaniel's children by her first husband, Zachariah Ogden, who she married on Nov. 16, 1825 in Amherst Co.  Sarah Ogden went on to marry Charles Edward Coffey, a son of John Jack and Elizabeth Duff Coffey, on Feb. 14, 1854.  Zachariah married Mary Elizabeth White on Dec. 23, 1853 and Catharine married Frederick Coffey, son of Nelson and Rebecca Hamilton Coffey on Mar. 10, 1856.

My confusion arises while attempting to reconcile the children Margaret, Elizabeth, Serana, Paulus and Avarila.  Based merely on the fact that Henry and Betsey married in the Spring of 1848, when Henry was 26 and Betsey 35, I cannot figure how those children might have been off-spring of either.  My opinion is that Henry Landon "Big Hill" Coffey, born Nov 18, 1848 and Mary Frances, born c1850 were Henry and Betsy's only children.  In the John Taylor essay above, he writes that Paulus was an Ogden, born shortly after his father Zachariah, Sr. died.

Jordan and Elizabeth Rippetoe Coffey, Henry's parents, are thought to have taken in a number of "orphan" children in the Coffeytown area so perhaps, these children were taken in by Henry!?  I don't know.

Avarilla became the second wife of William Webster "Buck" Davis on Sep. 15, 1865 in Amherst Co.  Buck's first wife was Sarah Jane Coffey, another daughter of John Jack and Elizabeth Duff Coffey. Sarah died c1863 after giving birth to her second son, William Henry Davis. Her first child was John Edward, born c1861.

Buck and Avarilla had at least twelve children, one of which married back into the Coffey family:
Virginia Anne "Jenny" Davis, born 1866, died 1951 in Amherst Co., married Arthur Coffey on Jan. 31, 1884.  He was a son of William "Billy" and Sally Crawford Coffey.  William was a son of Jordan.
Jack


October 19, 2005

Nelson Coffey (1810-20 to 1845-48)

Continuing with the children of Jordan Coffey by John Taylor


Nelson Coffey's birthdate and parents have not been pin-pointed. It seems clear (although still speculation) that Nelson was Schylar's brother, but the two of them were probably not brothers with the others. William the elder Coffey of Nelson County is believed to have had a son named Nelson who died prior to 1825. There is speculation that this Nelson could have been the father of both Schylar and Nelson, but there is no proof that Nelson the older ever had any children or that he ever existed.

Our Nelson married Rebecca Hamilton, daughter of Robert Hamilton, on 5 February 1833 in Amherst County. Schylar Coffey gave permission for Nelson to marry. We believe this was his older brother, not his father. Jordan and Elizabeth, although they were in the area, are not mentioned as being part of the ceremony. Surely they were there, perhaps as best man, but not as witnesses. Since they had no possessions, they also could not provide security.

Nelson and Rebecca had Frederick, Nancy, Julia, Mathew, Pauline, and Nelson Coffey. Nelson the older must have died sometime between 1844, when little Nelson was conceived, and 1849, when Rebecca remarried, to Abram Clement. According to tax records in Amherst County, Nelson paid the taxes in 1845, Rebecca paid in 1848, no one in that family paid taxes in Amherst County in 1846 or 1847.

In the 1850 Census, Frederick was a 16 year old farm laborer, living with Rebecca and her new husband. Rebecca and Abram had 2 children - Missouri (female) and John Clement - before Abram was killed in Civil War action in Harrisonburg in 1862. By 1870, Rebecca is alone again as the head of the household. Robert Hamilton, father of Rebecca and 2 others who married into the Coffey family, died in 1841. Nelson and others filed petition in Amherst County court to have the court appoint an executor to sell the assets. In 1842, Nelson paid $475 for 170 acres of land along Thrasher's Creek. This is the first recorded deed of Coffey land in present day Amherst County which we found. Rebecca continued to live there with her new husband and even beyond his death. In 1859, Frederick and Nancy sold their 29 acres to James P. Hamilton, who lived nearby and was a young son of Robert Hamiltons who had his older brother John P. Hamilton (he married Elizabeth Coffey, Jordan's daughter) appointed as his guardian when Robert died. Another young son, Robert Lewis Hamilton, had Nelson and Rebecca appointed as his guardian. The Hamiltons and Coffeys were very close in those days in Amherst County, having left behind some of the court cases of assault and battery between the two families in Nelson County.

Apparently Frederick Coffey settled on a farm near or in Coffeytown, and Nancy (Coffey) Lawhorne settled south of Dodd's Ford. Two of Frederick's sons, "Fed" and Zack were in Coffeytown in 1900, living next to "Big Hill" Henry. Zack was married to Mary Catherine Crawford, but "Fed" was still a bachelor at that time. He eventually married Mary's sister Susie Massie Crawford and they had at least four children, one of whom was Thomas F. Coffey who lived only 26 years, but married Flarie Taylor. They had one child George W. Coffey who lived only two months. Thomas, Flarie, and George are buried at Bridgehill Cemetery in Coffeytown. Mary Catherine and Susie Massie
were sisters of Ora Wills Crawford who married Hugh Nelson Coffey. Frederick Coffey was a Private in Co. I, 49th VA Regiment Infantry, having enlisted 1 March 1864 in Amherst County for 3 years. He appears on the final disposition of Conscripts at Camp Lee, VA (in Petersburg) on 14 March 1864, no further record. There is no record for Nelson, son of Nelson and Rebecca, which we could find, although he would have been the right age if he lived. "Fed" and Zack Coffey are buried with their wives and several other family members in the "Wright Family Cemetery" at the rear of a present golf course, in the northeast corner of Amherst County.

Pauline Coffey's marriage record could not be located. She had 2 children, Moses and William, both named Coffee, who could have been illegitimate. She was living with Edward Drummond in Amherst County for a while, perhaps as a domestic - he was much older than she. Application was made for a marriage license when she was 36 years old, and her children were teenagers, but it was not completed. Family descendants, as we understand, believe she and Edward were eventually married.

Julia (Coffey) Rogers married Benjamin Rogers 10 November 1856. They had six known children. Both are buried in the Asberry Cemetery at Oronoco. Mathew Coffey, son of Nelson, may was a Private in Co. I of the 58th Virginia Infantry, CSA. He died of measles in the spring of 1862 at Stribling Springs, VA, but he married Mary M. Coffey near Buffalo Springs in Amherst County on 21 March 1861. She was living in Madison, VA, near Lynchburg in 1888. There are no known children, but there could have been one, as they were married for a year. We have not searched for any of her possible offspring.

Little Nelson Coffey was born about 1845, but nothing is known of him.


[Next: Henry Coffey (c1817 to 10 Jun 1871)]

William "Billy" Coffey (23 Apr 1815-26 Jul 1879)

Continuing with the children of Jordan Coffey by John Taylor


William "Billy" Coffey was probably the third son of Jordan and Elizabeth Coffey, but fourth in age of those in the family. He is not William B. Coffey, who lived his life in Nelson County. There were several of those who lived out their lives in Nelson County. According to his headstone he was born 9 April 1815. Other information indicates 23 April 1815 as his date of birth.

He married Sarah Ann "Sally" (Crawford) Coffey on 24 September 1835 in Amherst County. His parents are clearly listed as Jordan and Elizabeth Coffey. Her mother was Sarah Crawford. This couple, along with John Jack, Sr., had most of the population of what became Coffeytown.

Billy and his family built a house just north of Staton's Creek to the immediate west of Elsie Coffey's present house, where the family grew up. It was not until 1897 that the house Elsie lives in now was constructed. This may have been his second house in the general area of Coffeytown. His first purchase of land was made in 1873 when he and John Jack jointly purchased 1335 acres of property in the area. Up until that time, he may have lived on Henry's property or John Jack's land which he purchased in 1859.

William was too old for the Civil War but some of his sons were of the proper age, including Jim and William. Harden was about the same age as Daniel Rufus and was not known to have been involved. James Coffey was enlisted 22 April 1862 in Gordonsville, VA by Col Walker for 3 years or for the duration of the war, whichever was longest. He was a Private in Co. E, 13th VA Infantry. This is the same group John Jack, Jr. and Charles joined. He is listed as deserted 13 August 1862. William Coffey has the same record. Evidently, they all came home because the farm needed attention. Later John Jack and Charles joined the 50th Regiment VA Infantry. There are many James Coffeys involved in the war from Virginia. The one record which looks most like it would be Jim's is for a Jim Coffey who joined the same group - 50th VA, and that James is listed as being captured Spottsylvania Courthouse and sent to Elmira 30 July 1864, but then this James is listed as having died 14 October 1864 from chronic diarrhea, and they have him buried in grave #714. Fortunately, Jim Coffey lived until 1915. The 1910 Census indicates that he and Sophia had 5 children, only two of whom were living then - Edmund and Andrew. We have no idea who the other three were. The records for none of the other James Coffeys seem logical for this man, and it is possible that he never re-joined after the episode in Gordonsville. The same may be true for William.

Billy's headstone shows a death date as 11 May 1896. Death records show a William Coffey, unlisted parents, dying 26 July 1897. Evidently Billy's death came as a result of falling down the stairs at the original house, after he had returned from the new house. If this is true and the new house was not built until 1897, the 26 July date may be accurate. Otherwise, it could have been over a year since his death when it was reported in Amherst Courthouse, and the record shows the reported date, not the actual date; or, the listed William is not the right one. However, the listed Billy was 81 years old, which is right for his age. No other William of that age was known to be in Amherst County at the time.

"Sally" and Billy Coffey are buried on the hill behind Elsie Coffey's house in a fenced-in area which includes Bettie Coffey, their unmarried daughter. Bettie evidently died of grief, as she was very attached to her mother. Others in the cemetery include Walter Campbell, perhaps related to John Jack's second wife, or to one of John Jack Jr.'s two daughters, Lena and Emma Jane, who married Campbell men in sufficient time to have had Walter. Robert H. Coffey, great-grandson of Billy Coffey, grandson of Harden Coffey and Hersey Coffey's brother, has the only other marked grave (1903-1907) in this cemetery. John Jack and his wife Betsey Duff are also believed to be buried in this vicinity, but there is no marker.


[Next: NelsonCoffey (1810-20 to 1845-48)]

October 18, 2005

John Coffee Hays

HAYS, JOHN COFFEE (1817-1883). John Coffee (Jack) Hays, Texas Ranger extraordinary and Mexican War officer, son of Harmon and Elizabeth (Cage) Hays, was born at Little Cedar Lick, Wilson County, Tennessee, on January 28, 1817. His father, of Scots-Irish descent, fought with Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston in the War of 1812. Hays became the prototypical Texas Ranger officer, and he and his cohorts-John S. (Rip) Ford, Ben McCulloch, and Samuel H. Walker-established the ranger tradition. Hays joined the Texas Rangers in the formative years of their role as citizen soldiers. His rangers gained a reputation as mounted troops with revolvers and individually styled uniforms, who marched and fought with a noticeable lack of military discipline. This rough-and-ready image of an irregular force left its imprint on the chronicles of ranger history.

Read the remaining story of "Devil Jack" by clicking on the title link.

Andrew Jackson Coffee

Andrew Jackson Coffee, Captain of Company I, First Regiment, O. N. G., is a native son of the Golden State, born in Oakland, January 13, 1861. His ancestors were among the early settlers of Virginia, and the immediate descendants engaged in planting. Joshua Coffee was an officer in the Revolutionary war, and General John Coffee was a distinguished soldier in the war of 1812; he was General Jackson's most trusted friend and lieutenant, and was selected to make the right attack upon the British, which resulted in that memorable hand-to-hand combat on the night of December 23, 1814, when the Tennesseeans used their hunting-knives in place of bayonets. Colonel Andrew Jackson Coffee, the father of our subject, was born near Nashville, Tennessee, August 20, 1819. In 1837 he was appointed a cadet at West Point, but afterward resigned to become a civil engineer. In 1846 he was appointed Paymaster in the army, and served through the war with Mexico to the battle of Buena Vista, in which he won the rank of Major with the brevet of Lieutenant-Colonel for gallant and meritorious conduct. After the battle, as a mark of especial confidence and appreciation he was selected to carry dispatches to President Polk. Thus at the early age of twenty-nine years he had attained distinction in his country's service. He retained his position in the army, serving in Texas and Louisiana until 1853, when he was assigned to duty on the Pacific coast with headquarters at San Francisco. In July of 1859 he resigned his position, and retired to civil life. He was one of a syndicate to acquire almost the whole of the present site of Oakland, but misfortunes came, and he lost his property. he was married April 3, 1839, to Miss Elizabeth A. Hutchings, of Huntsville, Alabama. Captain A. J. Coffee is the youngest of the family of five children born of this union. He was educated in the public schools of Oakland, and San Francisco, at Urban Academy, and Heald's Business College of San Francisco, California. He then took up the study of electricity, and in 1876 he accepted a position as salesman and assistant electrician with the Electrical Construction & Maintenance Company of San Francisco. he continued his duties and the following year he entered the employ of the American District Telegraph Company of San Francisco; in the fall of that year he put up the first telephone in San Francisco. He was also connected with the Belle Telephone Company and the Golden Stock Telegraph Company until October, 1880, when he came to Portland, as superintendent of the Portland Telephone, Telegraph and Electric Light Company; he remained with this corporation until 1883 when he became electrician for the United States Electric Light and power Company, which was merged into the Willamette Falls Electric Company. In 1884 Captain Coffee was appointed city electrician of Portland, oregon, and has charge of all the electric works of the city.

He was married in San Francisco in 1882, to Miss Edith Hinton, who died in July, 1889, leaving one son, Luen H. He was married a secod time in Portland, October, 1890, to Miss Ella L. Muffley, of California, and to this union one child has been born, Lenore.

The military education of the Captain began in San Francisco, in 1877, during the Chinese riots; he joined Company B, Volunteer Citizens' Safety Committee, and was actively engaged in supressing the Mail Dock riot and other disturbances about the city. After peace was restored, a military company was organized, knows as Company F., Second Infantry Regiment, O. N. G., he was mustered in April 3, 1878, and was an active member until leaving the city. In 1882, he with two others organized Company "G," First Regiment O. N. G. of Portland, Oregon and which soon proved the banner company by meritorious service in the threatened riots of 1885. In 1887 he was elected Captain of Company I, formerly known as the High School Cadets; this company was organized by some of the older pupils, and attracting attention by their enthusiam, they received encouragement and assistance from Professor Warren, who drilled them to a degree of excellence and perfection not (now) attained. After the resignation of Captain Warren, Captain Coffee was elected to the same position by the unanimous voice of the company; through the personal efforts of Captain Warren this company was admitted as Company I, First Regiment; they have always been noted for their zeal and energy, and are one of the best drilled companies of the Regiment. In 1890 Captain Coffee, assisted by George P. Frank, Police Commissioner, instituted a system of company drill in the police force of the city, and have acquired so high a degree of proficienty that their exhibitions are highly commended, and their skill in maneuvers would do credit to any company of the National Guards.

Hines, H. K. An illustrated history of the state of Oregon : containing a history of Oregon from the earliest period of its discovery to the present time, together with glimpses of its auspicious future, illustrations and full-page portraits of some of its eminent men and biographical mention of many of its pioneers and prominent citizens of to-day
Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1893, 1329 pgs.

[O. N. G. = Oregon National Guard]
[I recall that John Coffey Hayes, the former Texas Ranger, was also involved in purchasing property, and establishing what is known today as Oakland, CA (jkc)]


October 17, 2005

John James Coffey

John James Coffey - County Superintendent of Highways for Clinton County, John James Coffey, of Plattsburg, is also active as a member of the Democratic party and an outstanding member of the Grange.

John James Coffey was born in Schuylar Falls, May 7, 1904, son of James Martin and Mary (Dwyer) Coffey. James Martin Coffey, who was born at Saranac, established himself as a farmer, a calling which he followed until the time of his death. Mary (Dwyer) Coffey, his wife, is a native of Palmer Hill, Clinton County.

After passing through the public schools of Schuyler Falls, John James Coffey entered the Peru High School, Clinton County, graduating as a member of the class of 1923, and then, selecting a career as an engineer, he attended Union College, Schenectady, for four years, in civil engineering with the class of 1927. His first employment after graduation was with the New York State Highway Department, following which Mr. Coffey spent two years with the Nassau County Highway Department, leaving his work in 1932 to spend a year engaged in farming. However, on May 5, 1932, he was given the appointment as acting superintendent of county highways for Clinton County, an office to which he was permanently appointed in November of 1932, being then but twenty-eight years of age and thus the youngest man to be appointed to the responsible post of county highway superintendent in all New York State. Retaining this position through the present time, Mr. Coffey, who takes a deep and abiding interest in civic and community problems as well as being concerned with county questions, has served two years as a member of the Clinton County Democratic Committee and taken an active interest in the school affairs of School District No. 1 of Schuyler Falls. A member of St. Augustine's Catholic Church, John James Coffey is a member and Past Master of Schuyler Falls Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, and belongs to Plattsburg Lodge, No. 621, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and Plattsburg Council, No. 255, Knights of Columbus. Mr. Coffey, who is devoted to the twin sports of hunting and fishing, finds in their enjoyment a means of recreation from his public duties and responsibilities.

John James Coffey married, June, 1937, Jane Ryan, who was born in Clintonville, Clinton County. Mrs. Coffey is a member of St. Augustine's Catholic Church and of various Plattsburg organizations.

Source: The Lake Champlain and Lake George Valley New York: The American Historical Co., 1940, 1620 pgs.

John Jack Coffey (bc1808-Dec. 14, 1888)

John Jack Coffey was born around 1808/9, according to the census reports. He was probably the second son of Jordan and Elizabeth Coffey, but he was third oldest. In 1827.28 when his family came to Amherst County, he was around 20 years old.

On 18 January 1830, John Jack married Elizabeth "Betsey" (Duff) Coffey, the daughter of Joshua and Besley Duff of Fluvanna County. His parents were not listed in that document, but Jordan and Elizabeth were listed as witnesses. Census records imply that this couple had 7 children, including Mark Coffey who appears as a 10 year old only in the 1850 Census. He probably died between 1850 and 1860, but his death does not appear in the County Death Records. Another possibility is that William Henry, who was also 10 years old at the time and is not listed by name in this report, could have been nicknamed "Mark". Or William Henry and Mark could have traded parents for the summer when the Census was taken, which was common practice in those days.

John Jack's sons Charles Coffey, John Jack Coffey, Jr., William Henry Coffey and Daniel Rufus Coffey all lived in Coffeytown proper and provided much of the population of the western and northern portion of Coffeytown. No record of marriage has been found for Mary Coffey, but Sarah Jane (Coffey) Davis married William Davis in 1859. They had two children and after she died, Davis married Avarilla Coffey, Henry Coffey's daughter. William Henry and Daniel Rufus married sisters in a double wedding on 6 April 1868. True to the old wives' tale, it was bad luck. Mildred (Lawman) Coffey died and Daniel remarried to Sallie Cole (Black) Coffey. Between the two of them, Daniel had 14 children. Charles, the eldest son, married Sarah Jane Ogden on Valentine's day, 1854. John Jack, Jr. married Patara Tyler (pronounced pay - tra), who was listed as a 24 year old "domestic" in Charles' household in the 1860 Census.

John Jack Coffey, Sr. was too old to be involved in the Civil War, but his sons were just the right age. On 22 April 1862, many of the Coffeytown boys were in Gordonsville, possibly selling tobacco or fruit (prices in Gordonsville were artifically inflated since it was a railroad center for the Confederacy and there were many soldiers hungry for non-military food). Up until this time they had stayed out of the war. As long as Stonewall was in charge, they weren't too concerned. Charles E., John Jack, Jr., Henry L. (son of Henry and Elizabeth Coffey, James (oldest son of Billy), and William (son of Billy) all enlisted as Privates in Co. E, 13th VA Regiment Infantry. Col Walker enlisted them, perhaps at gun point. The Confederate States instituted a draft in April, 1862 and these Coffeys stumbled into some serious recruiters in Gordonsville. The record shows that most attended one or a few of the drills and then disappeared, some being listed as deserters. Charles was AWOL on 1 June 1862 and there is nothing in their records until May, 1864 when he "re-enlisted". Family legend has it that they hid from the recruiters but were discovered, routed out of the bushes and drafted. Somehow, John Jack Coffey, Jr. and Charles E. Coffey were "transferred" to Co. F, 50th Regiment, VA Infantry. According to the Compiled Service Records at the Archives, Charles E. and John Jack were captured 12 May 1864 at Spottsylvania Courthouse (some records show the place of capture as The Wilderness, which coincides with family legend. The Wilderness Battle was over by 12 May, and it may have been only then that they were noted as missing. Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded 11 May 1864, a severe blow to the Confederacy). They were taken to Belle Plains, VA and shipped to Elmira, NY as Prisoners of War. The record shows John Jack shipped on 30 July 1864, but Charles was sent 2 August 1864. They were both released 23 June 1865, under General Order #109, after taking the "Iron Clad Oath" of allegiance to the United States. John Jack is listed as having auburn hair, blue eyes, 5'-9" tall, and fair complexion. Both Charles and John Jack, Jr. were married before the war began.

William Henry Coffey served longer and paid a heavier price. He enlisted 15 August 1861 at Millner's Store by Capt William Higginbotham and he was mustered into service 24 September 1861 in Staunton, VA. He was in the 2nd Corp, Co. F, 58th VA Infantry. On 28 August 1862 he was sent to the Richmond Hospital, but he was promoted to Corporal 1 May 1862. In March and April 1863 he was admitted to the hospitals in Staunton as well as in Richmond. By August 1863 he was a "1 Corporal", which he remained until he was captured 12 May 1864 at Spottsylvania Courthouse (or The Wilderness). From there he was sent to Fort Delaware from Belle Plain, VA on 21 May 1864. He was released after taking the oath on 19 June 1865, under the same general order. His complexion was dark, hair dark, eyes dark, and 5'-6" tall. Nicknamed Cripple Henry", he suffered as a result of his wounds during the war. Legend has it that he walked home from Fort Delaware and could barely make it down the road toward home. Some of the family had lost hope and given him up for dead but Betsey Duff, John Jack's wife, had never given up on old "Hen". She lived to see her faith fulfilled. In 1868 William Henry Coffey married Jenny Lawman who was a sister of Mildred Lawman who married Daniel Rufus Coffey. Henry and Jenny had seven children.

Daniel Rufus Coffey served in the local defense and is not known to have ever seen action. He was 15 when the war began.

In August of 1871, Betsey died of Cholera. Henry Coffey, same generation as John Jack, died in June of the same year of Colic. About 1-1/2 years later on 1 April 1873, John Jack took a young wife, 25 year old Virginia C. Campbell of Rockbridge County, called “Jenny”. Virginia had come to the cabin, so the legend goes, to take care of Betsey during her sickness. Apparently there were no children by the second marriage, but the couple is thought to have informally adopted some Staton children. In this marriage record, John Jack's parents are listed as J and E Coffey, Jordan and Elizabeth. At the time, he was 64 years old. A few months later, he and "Billy" bought the 1335 acres called "Cooper's Place" evidently named after John Cooper, an early trapper who lived in the area.

John Jack died 14 December 1888 at the age of 80, of cancer. We have no specific place of burial for either him or Betsey. They may be buried behind Elsie Coffey's present house in an unmarked grave, as some believe.

[Next: William "Billy" Coffey]

Schylar Coffey (bc1806-dc1870-80)

Schylar may have been the second son of Jordan and Elizabeth Coffey, born around 1806. The marriage records do not list his parents, and death records have not been found for him. Schylar and Nelson (and Henry) are the only ones of the original 9 for whom no specific listing of parentage has been found. When Nelson married in 1833, Schylar gave permission, not Jordan and Elizabeth, although they were alive and living in Amherst County at the time.

The ancestry of Nelson and Schylar is not firmly established. Both of these names relate directly to Nelson County geography. Nelson was born approximately when a portion of Amherst became Nelson County. One district in Nelson County is Schuyler District. On occasions, Schylar's name has been written exactly that way. He and Nelson may be brothers, but only cousins to John Jack and Billy. They may be descendants of some of Edward the twin Coffey's people, or more likely, “excess” children from one or another neighbor. Henry was so much younger it is difficult to believe he came from the same parentage. NO records have been found which conclusively prove parentage of Schylar or Nelson, and Henry’s is not clear.

Schylar married Elizabeth Hamilton, daughter of Robert "Hot-headed" Hambelton) Hamilton, and sister of Rebecca Hamilton who married Nelson Coffey, on 30 January 1832. His parents are not listed. It seems Schylar and Elizabeth had 7 children (see chart). Sophia, Jordan, Schylar and John all married.

No information regarding marriage of any of the older three has been found. All three, Frances, George and Robert, were still living with their parents in Amherst in 1860. Frances Coffey, 40 at the time, was still there in 1870.

George Coffey is believed to have enlisted as a Private in Co. B, 49th Regiment, VA Infantry, Confederate States of America on 23 April 1861. He died from wounds and typhoid fever either 1 or 5 March 1862 in camp along the Rapidan River in Madison County. Robert Coffey also served as a Private in the same regiment from his enlistment on 21 August 1862 until his death in July 1864 from wounds received 12 May 1864. He received a Certification of Commendation prior to his death. Jordan Coffey enlisted in Richmond, VA on 25 June 1864, assigned to Co. B, 3rd VA Calvary on 1 February 1864; no record regarding his service in the cavalry but he enlisted 1 March 1864 in Amherst County, VA, later transferred to Co. I, 49th VA Infantry on 27 June 1864; listed as AWOL as of 1 October 1864. No doubt the death of his brothers and the realization of the lost cause contributed to his absence. No record of Schylar, Jr. serving in the CSA has been found.

Schylar Coffey, Jr. married at least twice and probably three times. His first wife, Isabella Drumheller died 17 February 1870. No children are known. He remarried a Mary Coffey, daughter of Reubin W. and SJB Coffey in 1880 and she must have also died as he is believed to have taken on a third wife, Elizabeth. With this one he had at least one daughter, Anne Belle Coffey, who died in Rockbridge County in August 1895, a little before Elizabeth died (12 October 1895), both of fever. No further record regarding Schylar, Jr.

Sophia Coffey married Jim Coffey, Billy's oldest son, and they had several children which are discussed and charted under the "Billy" section.

Jordan Coffey married Rebecca Pettis (Grant) Coffey in 1876 in Rockbridge County and they are known to have had children, but nothing is known of this branch of the family.John Coffey married Annie Mariah Ogden in 1875 and they had eight children. John died in Harvey, West Virginia, but most of his children seemed to have settled in Buena Vista, VA. Nothing else is known about John at this time.

(Next: John Jack Coffey)

Hudson Coffey (bc1804-dc1870-80)

Hudson "Huddie" Coffey was the eldest son of Jordan and Elizabeth Rippetoe Coffey. He was born in 1804-1805, approximately two years after their marriage, in what is now Nelson County, probably along the Tye River in the general area of what is now Tyro. Nothing is known of Hudson's early life, since no one is living to tell it and since he was too young to do things which made their way into the records.


Apparently, Hudson, and perhaps Schylar, left Nelson County to come to Amherst County, probably to make some money. They were still in Nelson in 1826 so they hadn't been living long in Amherst County when William the elder died (before March, 1828).

Hudson deeded some of his property - a mare, bed and some furniture - to his father in 1827. This deed is listed in the Amherst County files, and is dated Dec. 31, 1827. It is prepared as a “loan” from Hudson to Jordan, not for money but for love. Most likely it relates to Jordan’s Deed of Trust, written in 1817 in Nelson County, where he promised to pay his debt by the end of the year, or Edmund F. Coffey, acting in his official capacity, was to confiscate the collateral and sell it at auction to pay off the debt. This 1827 Deed was intended to circumvent the original Deed of Trust. Jordan couldn’t pay it off, and couldn’t live very well without his horse, feather bed and some furniture. This occurred years before the Homestead Act, which allowed similar exclusions from creditors. That Act was intended to prevent just this sort of devastating collection, which happened to many in the early 1800’s.

Hudson seems to have devoted himself to the care of his parents. In the 1850 census report, where person's names are listed, Hudson is living with Jordan and Elizabeth in Amherst County. He was probably also there in 1840, taking care of his elderly parents. Before 1860 both his parents presumably died, as they do not show in any later census reports, and he was free to marry.

On 20 September 1855 Hudson married Mahala Lane, a widow. We don't know if there were any children by her first marriage, but census reports (1860 and 1870) show a James E. Coffey, presumably the son of Hudson and Mahala, living with the family in the Pedlar District of Amherst County. James was 5 in 1860 and 16 in 1870 when the census was taken. Apparently Mahala was pregnant at marriage or just after marriage. If she had other children, they were apparently too old to be living with the family in 1860. Perhaps Hudson continued living in his parent's house after they died. His place of residence would be interesting to discover since it is likely that this is where Jordan and Elizabeth lived out the latter portion of their lives, but since other dwellings, known to have been constructed later, have all rotted away, it is very unlikely that anything remains.

Census reports show both Hudson and Mahala as illiterate. Nothing is known of his son, James Coffey. He was too young and Hudson too old to have been involved with the Civil War, and there is no mention of him in connection with Coffeytown history. Hudson is not listed in the Amherst County death records through 1896, and we don't have later census reports clear enough to establish his death date. He was 66 or 68 years old in 1870, and does not show in the 1880 Census. Presumably both he and his wife died between 1870 and 1880. Place of burial is unknown. He may be one of the early settlers of Coffeytown buried with only a boulder for his marker. The cemetery behind Elsie Coffey's house is the oldest known but there may be some farther north for these very early settlers. Bridgehill was not used until about 1907.

(Next: Schylar Coffey)

October 16, 2005

Coffeytown

Continuing with the work of John Taylor.


There seems to be some controversy as to when Coffeytown was actually settled by the Coffeys. The earliest deed in present day Amherst County which we could find relating to the Coffey family was the 1827 deed by Hudson to his father Jordan. This deed, and William the elder's will, set forces in motion which eventually led to Coffeytown.

The next earliest deed is 1842, when Nelson bought his father-in-laws property for $475 from the estate. Our guess at this time is that he was living with his wife Rebecca on or near this property on Thrasher's Creek in 1841 when Robert Hambelton, Rebecca's father, died. Census reports indicate that he was next door to Robert in 1840. Nelson died sometime between 1845 - 1847 (based on tax records). His wife Rebecca Hamilton married Abram Clement in 1849. Abram was killed in Harrisonburg in 1862 during the Civil War. It appears that Rebecca stayed on the property for some time, but Frederick and Nancy each sold their share of the land 20 Aug. 1859 to James P. Hamilton. This land was related only to Nelson and his family and did not contribute to the overall development of Coffeytown. Had Nelson lived, however, Coffeytown would probably have been along Thrasher's Creek, which is more like rolling hills than the mountainous area around Coffeytown. Family legend has it that the Coffeys bought into Coffeytown land because the land they wanted was not available. If there is any truth to that statement, it was probably the land around Thrasher's Creek they would have preferred.

In 1848, William Coffey signed a deed of trust for $225.00 for Eliza White, his neighbor, who bought 230 acres with the money. This lien was released 12 April 1855. That same year William bought 105 acres from Meredith Allen and William's sister Jane, lying on the south side of Fork Mountain. This is probably the date the Allens left Virginia and eventually ended up in West Virginia, although they owned other property in the area which we have not tracked. He sold this to Willis White for a $10 loss on 6 October 1851. This land was adjacent to property owned by Aaron Higginbotham and Anderson Sandidge.

This was no doubt sold because Henry Coffey, freshly married to Elizabeth (McDaniel) (Ogden) Coffey, bought 340 acres on both sides of the middle fork of the Pedlar River (Staton's Creek) on 8 May 1851 (DB "BB"/pp 188-189), having paid $1000 to William McDaniel, Elizabeth's father. The deed had the will built-in, so that when Henry died, it went back to Elizabeth. Sort of a rubber string attached. McDaniel then wrote his will (5 JUNE 1851) leaving his plantation to his son Lindsay McDaniel, Elizabeth's brother. The property bought by Henry was previously purchased by McDaniel from Benjamin Sandidge in 1811. This is the earliest deed for Coffey land which mentions Staton's Creek, even in such cryptic terms. It is likely that Jordan, Hudson, John Jack, Schylar, and William, since they were living in the same "neighborhood" in 1850, may have been living on Ogden land, inherited by Elizabeth from her husband Zachariah Ogden at census time, as Henry married Elizabeth in 1848. And when Henry bought the McDaniel property on both sides of the middle fork, all his Coffey cohorts came with him, looking for similar property in the same area.

Cognizant of Henry's "rubber string" deed, in 1859 John Jack purchased land from Thomas, James, and R. Richerson (DB "HH"/329), which was probably northeast of Henry's property. This was later expanded in 1873 when William and John Jack jointly purchased 1335 acres along Staton's Creek for the sum of $4000 from the estate of Jesse Richerson. Jesse had purchased it from Richard and John Cooper; Captain Benjamin Taliaferro's heirs, and James Taliaferro. This land, which we believe became a larger part of Coffeytown, was known as "Cooper's Place". In 1874, William and John sold a small portion, 275 acres, to McDaniel Crawford, then split the remaining land between themselves, and John Jack sold portions to Charles E. and John Jack, Jr. By the time the land was split, each had already built a cabin. The next few years are filled with land deals among the children and with a few outsiders, no doubt all centered around Coffeytown. (See Deed book "JJ" and later in Amherst County Courthouse.)

From several different indexes, these are the earliest deeds we have been able to find. Since other researchers seem to have the same problem with earlier Coffey property in Coffeytown area, we assume that 1851 was the first Coffey foothold along Staton's Creek but 1859 was the first year Coffeys freely owned land at Staton's Creek. Jordan and Elizabeth were most likely dead by this time, but they did get to see Henry's land and probably saw the general area before it was developed. Henry, we believe, lived south of Bridgehill Cemetery, in the general area of Embree Crawford's present house but probably up the hill off the roadway. The other Coffeys no doubt crowded around and saved their money until 1859. It was more than 30 years since Jordan had left Nelson County. The strong family ties which developed between the six Coffey boys, probably as a result of so much difficulty they faced together, left them and their families determined to stay close together so they could support each other in a way which had not occurred previously. These Coffeys understood what it meant to be essentially abandoned.

Having reviewed the evolution of Coffeytown from a census perspective, and then as a real estate transaction, we turn attention now to each of the six Coffey boys whose relationships throughout these years held the family together and finally culminated in a community. The family charts for each of these is located in the next section on descendants.

(Next: Hudson Coffey)












Harden Coffey 1846-1937

Harden was a grandson of Jordon Coffey, and son of William (Billy) Coffey and Sarah G. Crawford. He was born May. 10, 1846 in Virginia, and died Oct. 22, 1937 in Amherst Co.

Harden married Elizabeth, daughter of James and Susan Crawford, on Jan. 16, 1867 in Amherst Co. Elizabeth "Betsy" Crawford was born Sep. 22, 1849 in Amherst Co., and died Dec. 19, 1935 in that county.

She and Harden were the parents of nine children:



  1. Nathan, born Feb. 4, 1869, died Feb. 8, 1954; married his first cousin, Luella Davis, daughter of Bennett Hudson and Roxsinia Belle Coffey, a daughter of William (Billy) Coffey. William was the sixth child of Jordan, and fifth son.
  2. Sarah Catherine, born Sep. 30, 1871, died Aug. 17, 1909. She married Harding Lewis (Tip) Humphreys, and had three children: Hardin Lewis, Jr.; Sophia; and Turner B.
  3. Hugh Nelson, born Jul 4, 1876 in Amherst Co., died Dec. 20, 1957 in that county. Married Ora Wills Crawford, born Jul. 28, 1881 in Amherst Co., died Dec. 20, 1976 in that county. Together they had five children: Robert H., Henry (Harvy?); Effie Gladys; Hersey Carter; and Bessie R.
  4. Nora, born about 1873 in Amherst Co., married Champ Lee Ogden, born about 1869 in Amherst Co., on Feb. 7, 1894. They had three children: Cora L.; Hugh O.; and Bernard.
  5. Indianna, born Jul. 30, 1879 in Amherst Co., died Sep. 1, 1966 in that county. She married William O. Fitzgerald, born May 24, 1890 in Amherst Co., died Jul. 26, 1916 in Amherst Co. They had at least one child, a daughter, Lottie born about 1913.
  6. Pidgie, born about 1833 in Amherst Co., married about 1901 to John Cole Camden, born about 1868 in Virginia. They had at least one child, a son, Rucker V., born about 1901.
  7. Sophia, born Mar. 13, 1885 in Amherst Co., died Sep. 15, 1967 in that county. She married Isaac G. Taylor, born Mar. 22, 1885, died Sep. 18, 1945 in Amherst Co. They had at least one child, a daughter, Flarie Taylor, born 1907, died 1975.
  8. Flora, born 1888 in Amherst Co., died 1970 in that county. She married about 1916 to Luther M. Taylor, born Nov. 9, 1892 in Amherst Co., died Aug., 1967 in that county. There are no known children.
  9. Bertha Lee, born about 1891 in Virginia, married Donald Grant about 1914 in Amherst Co. He was born about 1891 in Virginia, and died before April 15, 1930, the date of the 1930 census. They had seven children: Ruby, born about 1913; Jessie, born about 1915; Frank B., born Jun. 12, 1917, died Oct. 13, 1917; Henry, born about 1919; William, born about 1921; Larry, born about 1923; and Lois, born about 1927.
Isaiah (Zet) Coffey is believed to be the illegitimate son of Nancy Coffey, daughter of Nelson and Rebecca Hamilton Coffey. Nelson was the fourth child and son of Jordan and Elizabeth Rippetoe Coffey.

Nelson was born about 1810 in Virginia and died about 1845 in that state. He married Rebecca, born about 1816 in Virginia, on Feb. 5, 1833 in Amherst Co.

They were the parents of six children; Nancy, born May 4, 1836, died Jan. 11, 1922 in Amherst Co., was their second.

Their first child was Frederick, born about 1834, followed by Nancy, Julia, born about 1838; Matthew, born about 1841; Pauline, about 1843, and Nelson, Jr., born about 1845.

Nancy subsequently married Holman (Delaware) Lawhorne on Dec. 16, 1867 in Amherst Co. Holman was born Oct. 15, 1826, and died Jan. 27, 1907. Together they had six children: Sarah Elizabeth; Emma; Ollie A.; Phelia; Sam, and Andrew.

Descendants of John Jack, son of Jordon Coffey


According to current research, John Jack was the third child and son of Jordon and Elizabeth Rippetoe Coffey. He was born about 1809 in Virginia, and died Dec. 14, 1888 in Amherst Co., VA. He married Elizabeth Susan "Betsy" Duff on Jan. 18, 1830 in Amherst Co. Elizabeth was born about 1807 in Madison Co., VA, and died June 1, 1880 in Amherst Co. John Jack, Sr. married a second time to Virginia Campbell on Apr. 1, 1873 in Amherst Co. There are no known children from this marriage.

They appeared in every Amherst Co. census from 1840 through 1880. In 1830, his father was the first Coffey to be enumerated in Amherst Co.

John Jack and Elizabeth had six children:

  1. Charles Edward, born Nov. 30, 1832, died Feb. 13, 1924. Charles married Sarah Jane (Jane) Ogden, born Oct. 22, 1833 in Virginia, died Jan. 17, 1904 in Amherst Co., VA. They had 9 children: Pittward (Pitt), born about 1855; Irvin, born about 1857; John, born/died about 1858; Charles Edward, Jr., born Nov. 9, 1859, died May 29, 1921; Edwin Horsley, born Mar. 1862; Mary Jane, born about 1864; Elianna (Eleanor?), born about 1867; Editha, born about 1870, and Hiter Webster, born about 1873.
  2. Mary Colston, born about 1834
  3. John Jack, Jr., born May 8, 1836, died Dec. 1, 1907. John married Patra Tyler, who was born Nov. 5, 1838 in Amherst Co., and died Mar. 8, 1921 in that county. They had eight children: Marcia M., born about 1861; Henely, born May 1862; Helena, born about 1865; Emma Jane, born May 11, 1868, died Apr. 22, 1910; John E., born Jun. 22, 1870, died Nov. 21, 1933; Lutie V., born Sep., 1873; Elizabeth, born Dec. 31, 1875, died Dec. 17, 1926; and Ambrose Rucker, born Dec. 1879.
  4. Sarah Jane, born about 1838 in Virginia, married William Webster Davis, born Jan. 26, 1837 in Amherst Co., bird Apr. 10, 1909 in that county. There are no known children. William later married Avarilla Coffey, daughter Henry F. Coffey, a brother to John Jack.
  5. William Henry, born May 23, 1840 in Amherst Co., married 1868 to Virginia Lawman, born about 1852 in Virginia. They had eight children: Willie Ann, born about 1811; Lillian, born about 1873; Frank Anderson, born Sep. 16, 1880, died Nov. 5, 1936; Irvin, born about 1878; Laura May, born May 7, 1875, died Dec. 16, 1911; Minnie; Nellie; and Hattie.
  6. Daniel Rufus, born Aug. 17, 1846 in Virginia, died Nov. 18, 1921 in Amherst Co. Married Mildred J. Lawman, born about 1848 in Virginia, died Mar. 1880 in Amherst Co. They had five children: Ellen, born about 1869; Alice Loving, born about 1871; Cora, born about 1875; Bascom Walker, born about 1878, and Melissa, born/died Mar. 1880. Daniel married a second time to Sallie Cole Black, daughter of Cole and Sophia Black, on Aug. 30, 1880 in Amherst Co. They had 10 children: Nannie Lou; Daisy; Myrtle Shepard; Massie Johnson; Early Brown; Talmadge Ivey; Robert Mahood; Helen McClung; Mary Melissa; and Farrow Lawton.











The Coffey Family Settlers of "Coffeytown"

The following is one of a chapter in the new work pending editing and publication by John Taylor of Midlothian, Virginia. John and his wife own property in the Coffeytown area of Amherst Co., VA, and have been interested in the history of the area since about 1993.

John is intimately familar with the people of the Coffeytown area but he is not a Coffey descendant. He has generously given me permission to use this information, but asks that readers understand that it can be edited and/or amended before final release.

I am creating a family tree showing known descendants of Jordan Coffey. It will be based on John's work, and my own census research. That work is currently being reviewed by John, and will be made available to researchers when we are sure that it is as accurate as we can make it.


The Coffey Family Settlers of "Coffeytown"


by John Taylor



The Coffey settlers of Coffeytown are described by family legend as Hudson, Schylar, John Jack, William (“Billy”), Nelson, and Henry Coffey. Jordan’s three daughters were Jane, Susanna, and Elizabeth. After their marriage, some stayed in the general area for a while but never were involved in the settlement of “Coffeytown”, which we define as land along Staton’s Creek, which at one time (1894 map) was referred to as “Coffie Creek”. This chapter explores the emergence of Coffeytown and discusses the lives of the Coffey family settlers to the extent we can find written documentation in the public records.

Overview

The 1830 Census shows Jordan Coffey as the only Coffey in present day Amherst County. This was the first census taken after Nelson county was formed which shows any Coffey in Amherst County. Jordan and his wife and 9 children are shown. John Jack was the first in this group to marry, in January, 1830, and by the time the census was taken was probably not living with the family. He doesn't show as the head of a household but this could be because he was living with a different family, as a boarder, probably with her family. If John Jack was not at home in the summer of 1830, this would mean that 10 children existed. There is no proof that all of these were Jordan's, as the listing is only for the head of the household and others by age range. One boy child is listed as being between the ages of 0-5. None of the known Coffeys listed above were that young in 1830. If this was Elizabeth's child, she would have been between 47 and 52 years of age when the child was born. It is likely that such a child may have died before the 1840 census. No name is known. It could also have been visiting for the summer, which is just as likely, based on the information available.

In 1830, the Census shows Jordan Coffey living in the same basic neighborhood with Ambrose Rucker, Lindsay McDaniel, and Henry Ogden. A few doors away is William McDaniel, Benjamin Taliaferro, and Joshua Duff, with his family, probably including Betsey Duff and John Jack, Sr. who were married in January 1830. In what appears to be a different part of the county not too far away, the census reads like a who's who of Coffey family and Amherst County history: Anderson Sandidge, John Staton, Joseph Dodd, Garland Richerson, Willis White, Aaron Higginbotham, James Clements, John Allen.

By 1840, John Jack, Nelson, Schuyler, and William are listed in addition to Jordan as the heads of households. This leaves Henry and Hudson unaccounted for by name in 1840. There were two males, aged 20-30 in Jordan's household that year. This is strange because Hudson was too old (35) and Henry was too young (18) to fit into that category. Neither of them are listed anywhere in Virginia as the head of household in 1840; but in 1839, the following Coffeys paid their taxes on the same day at the courthouse: John, Schylar, Jordan, Henry F., Hudson, and William. It is likely that the census age range is incorrect and that both Henry and Hudson were living with Jordan in 1840. The first mention of Henry is in the Amherst County tax records for 1839 when he would have been 22 years of age. It was 1842 when he paid taxes the next time, for a silver watch. Throughout the next seven years he declares for taxes but owns nothing being taxed. In 1849, after he married the widow Elizabeth (McDaniel) (Ogden) Coffey, he arrives in style with four metallic clocks, 2 slaves and one horse, logging in at the staggering amount of $0.76 taxes for the year. Given all that and the fact that Henry shows nowhere else by name in any census report, it is likely that he was the ninth child indicated in the 1830 census as well, giving some credence to the family legend that Henry was thought of as Jordan's son. According to his death record, he was not Jordan's biological son, but he could have been and probably was informally adopted by Jordan prior to his leaving Nelson County.

Based on the listing in the 1840 Census, John Jack, William and Schylar were living in the same "neighborhood", Nelson was off elsewhere in the county, and Jordan lived between the two groups. Jordan lived between John Cash and Thomas Mahoney. We didn't recognize any of the other "nearby" names either. William and John were living next to each other, 3 doors down from Schylar who lived next to Meredith Allen, Jane Coffey's husband. Meredith and Jane had two young girls and one boy, all less than 5 years old in 1840. Patsy Cooper was a neighbor and 14 houses down the road was William W. Davis. Not too far away was the Methodist Reverend Pitt Woodroof with his wife and eight youngsters.

Reubin P. Coffey was living in a different part of Amherst County - just him and his wife. By 1850, he seems to have moved to Augusta County, and Joseph Coffee (59) and his wife Ruth (48) replaced Reubin P. as an "oddball" Coffey in Amherst.

In 1850, Henry, John, Jordan, Schylar, and William were living in the same neighborhood" while Frederick and Jesse were the oddballs, living in different parts of the county. Eliza Wilson lived next to John Coffey who lived next to William H. Ogden. Jordan, William, Schylar and Henry lived all in a row with James Dodd and Cornelius Clement at the end. Some 100 houses away, Frederick was living with Abram Clement and Rebecca, the widow of Nelson Coffey, along with her children by both marriages. William Hamilton (Hambelton), with James P. Hamilton living in, also lived next to Abram Clement.

Even Frederick Coffey joined the cluster by 1860. Rebecca and Pauline, with 15 year old Nelson were still living with Abram Clement, in the same neighborhood as William Sandidge, and next door to James Taliaferro. Charles E. Coffey, son of John Jack was living near 36 year old Edward Drummond who ended up with Pauline Coffey before 1870, and next door to John Whitesides and his family. The cluster which Frederick joined consisted of the following men and their families: Henry Coffey, John Coffey, William Coffey, Frederick Coffey, William W. Davis, Ben H. Davis, Hudson Coffey, and Nelson Clark flanking Hudson. This was all probably within the general area of present day Coffeytown. Meredith Coffey and family were next to James Taliaferro and Peter Lawhorne. Schylar Coffey was still further away from the cluster, but still in Amherst County, probably way up Rt. 634.

In 1870, Reubin C. Coffey and wife Margaret, sons Augustus (23) and Marcellus (27), along with her mother Martha Bolling (60) and a black cook named Victoria Briggs, lived in the Courthouse district of Amherst, probably near Thrasher's Creek since he and Edgar Whitehead bought 467-3/4 acres from John R. Haden in 1869 (DB "JJ"/pg 170). Meredith and his wife Martha, and four young children lived in the Temperance district of Amherst County. Pauline was living with Edward Drummond and her two children Moses (6) and William (2). They were also in the Temperance district. All other Coffeys seem concentrated in one area, which surely by 1870, was a bustling little "Coffeytown". It was in 1888 that Charles E. Coffey deeded land to the Methodist Church, and 1896 when the present church, in the process of restoration, was constructed of chestnut lumber cut from Coffey land. The schoolhouse (land deeded by Charles E. Coffey in 1899 to Pedlar School Board - DB "YY" pg 405/ 498) was located just up the hill from the church site, and the post office was down by the road, next to the church. This concentration of Coffeys continued through the 1910 Census report we reviewed, and no doubt continued well into the era of World War II.

We would like to get into more detail regarding Coffeytown itself, but we simply ran out of time. Perhaps in the next edition.

[Next: "Coffeytown"]



Click on the title link to view a Jordan Coffey family group sheet pdf.

October 12, 2005

James Sylvester and Sarah Carter Coffey

According to the titled website, James Sylvester Coffey was born c1812 in Rockingham County, NC. In 1837, he married Sarah Carter in Shelby County, IN. Sarah was born about 1819 in Rockingham County, NC. Her father was Wilford Carter. He was born in VA in c1771. Wilford married Catharine Dodd, born c1775.

Click on the title link to view more information, and photos of some of the children of James and Sarah Carter Coffey.

Please contact me if you are researching this Coffey line.

October 11, 2005

John L. Coffey - Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice


"John L. Coffey was born April 15, 1922 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He graduated from Marquette University in 1943. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy. He then returned to Marquette University Law School and graduated in 1948."

Read more about Justice John Coffey by clicking on the title link.

Coffey Veterans in Illinois

The Sauk Valley Newspapers, publishers of the Telegraph, Daily Gazette and the Sauk Valley Sunday papers, with offices in Sterling and Dixon, IL, have created an on-line "Salute to Veterans."

The site contains a number of photographs of those veterans. The Coffey vets can be viewed by clicking on the title link, then selecting each veteran by name.

October 6, 2005

Wade R. Coffey


Wade R. Coffey was the grandson of Irish emigrants on his paternal side. He was the son of Ohio-born John and Elenore Coffey, and was born in Kansas Jan. 30, 1887.

Wade was the third child of John and Elenore. Ethel, the eldest, was born in April, 1891. Harry was the second born, and came along in May, 1883. Frank followed Wade, and was born in June, 1889. Like Wade, all of their children were born in Kansas.

By 1910 Wade had married, and was in the grain business in Cowley Co., KS. By 1920 he and Hallie had two sons, Cecil and Harley. He was a bank cashier in Dexter, Cowley Co. By 1930 he was president of the bank, and undoubtedly involved in local politics.

In 1939 he was elected Mayor of Winfield, and after spending 4 years out of office, he was again elected to that office in 1943.

His son Cecil was elected Mayor of Winfield in 1963, and again n 1973.

Wade died Sep. 3, 1964, and is buried in the Highland Cemetery, Winfield.

October 5, 2005

Richard Northcraft and Elizabeth "Betsy" Coffey Cullom

Elizabeth Coffey was a daughter of Lewis Russell and Bidant (Biddy) Moore Coffey. She was born c1797 in Wilkes Co., NC, and died Dec. 5, 1868 in Tazewell Co., IN. Richard Northcraft Cullom was born Oct. 1, 1795 in MD, and died Dec. 4, 1872. He and Betsy was married Mar. 17, 1819.

Although there were probably other children, I know of only one child born to this union. Shelby Moore Cullom was born Nov. 22, 1829 in Wayne Co., KY, and died in Washington, DC on Jan. 22, 1914, at the age of 85. He outlived two wives, and served a long and distinguished political career as two-term governor of Illinois, and as United States Senator from that state.

Shelby first married Hannah Fisher of PA, on Dec. 12, 1855. Together they had three children: Ella, born c1857; Carrie, born c1859, and Lizzie, born c1861. Hannah apparently died at or shortly after Lizzie's birth. By 1870 Shelby had married again, this time to Hannah's sister, Julia. There were no children from this union.

**CULLOM, Shelby Moore, (nephew of Alvan Cullom and William Cullom), a Representative and a Senator from Illinois; born in Wayne County, Ky., November 22, 1829; moved with his father to Tazewell County, Ill., in 1830; received an academic and university training; moved to Springfield, Ill., in 1853; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1855 and commenced practice in Springfield; elected city attorney in 1855; member, State house of representatives 1856, 1860-1861, and served as speaker of the house during the second year; elected as a Republican to the Thirty-ninth, Fortieth, and Forty-first Congresses (March 4, 1865-March 3, 1871); chairman, Committee on Territories (Forty-first Congress); member, State house of representatives 1873-1874, and served as speaker in 1873; Governor of Illinois 1877-1883, when he resigned; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1882; reelected in 1888, 1894, 1900, and 1906 and served from March 4, 1883, to March 3, 1913; chairman, Committee on Expenditures of Public Money (1885-87), Committee on Interstate Commerce (1887-93; 1895-1901; 1909-11), Committee on Foreign Relations (1901-11), Republican Conference Chairman (1911-13); Regent of the Smithsonian Institution 1885-1913; chairman and resident commissioner of the Lincoln Memorial Commission in 1913 and 1914; member of the commission appointed to prepare a system of laws for the Hawaiian Islands; died in Washington, D.C., January 28, 1914; interment in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Ill.

**Dictionary of American Biography; Cullom, Shelby. Fifty Years in Public Service: Personal Recollections. 1911. Reprint. New York: Da Capo Press, 1967; Neilson, James. Shelby M. Cullom: Prairie State Republican. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1962.

Cullom was a friend of Lincoln, knew U.S. Grant, and was one of the more outstanding politicians of his era. Much more information about him, including photos of him and Julia can be found on the web. His obituary can be found at Rootsweb.

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